Get access to our homeschool planner and more! Sign Up

Step 1: Know the Legal Requirements for Homeschooling

by Mary Ann Kelley

Get Started Homeschooling: Step 1 - Know your state's legal requirements

Homeschooling is regulated by the state rather than the federal government, which means that you will need to look to the specifics in your state to find out what, if anything, you have to do to be legally homeschooling. Some states consider homeschools to be private schools and regulate them as such, some states have specific homeschool statutes, and some have no homeschool regulations at all.

Don’t assume that just because legalities sound confusing that they are hard to comply with. Local and state homeschool groups can give you guidance in understanding the law, but be sure to seek out the actual state code (which is usually online at your state’s official website) for the most up to date and accurate legal information with regard to homeschooling.

Go to Step 2 »

Related Reading

Do You Know What Law Enables You To Homeschool?

If you don’t know, you should. How else can you tell whether the next government official who tells you that you have to do what he says is lying or misunderstanding the law? Do you really want to “comply” with what the government official tells you to do if it is not required by law? Maybe it doesn’t bother you to “comply”. Would it bother your neighbor? More importantly, would it bother your children when it is their turn to homeschool your grandchildren? Perhaps it would. If you “comply” when you are not required to do so, will it become that much easier for ... Read More »

The “Show Me” Letter

The "Show Me" Letter A new administrator, unfamiliar with the finer points of the homeschool law, asked for more than the legal requirement. She called to tell me she wanted a list of the books I would be using. Being an unschooler, I couldn’t guess what books would grab my kids’ interest. Even if I could guess, this was beyond the law. However, I felt this phone conversation was not the time to say so. Read More »

Extra Rules Always Required

Time and again, in various states around the country, we have seen that homeschool tax credit legislation attracts increased monitoring. With new federal “model” homeschool tax credit legislation already proposed, homeschoolers must be extremely vigilant in opposing this well intentioned threat to our homeschool freedoms. Read More »

Back-to-School Forms as Tea and Muffins

Summer is waning, and the fall quickly approaches, with its back-to-school excitement! Even homeschoolers who educate throughout the summer often use the fall as a time to try a fresh start with new curriculum, implement a new approach, or get creative to inject a breath of fresh air into their school. For many home educators, August is an important time to send in test scores, file notice-of-intent forms, and fulfill their state’s legal requirements in order to be able to homeschool. Read More »

Without a Season: Virginia Homeschool Sports Access

Without a Season: Virginia Homeschool Sports Access For the first time since Nick was four years old, he doesn’t have a spring soccer season. He is a U15 player for a Richmond Kickers competitive youth travel team, and at his age and level, his teammates will be trying out for their public high school teams. Therefore, club soccer takes a break, with the understanding that players are getting their soccer in their community’s public schools. In 29 other states, Nick could also try out to play on a school team. But not in Virginia — because the Virginia High School League says kids who legally meet the ... Read More »

What Have You Done for Homeschooling Lately?

What Have You Done for Homeschooling Lately? Maybe you’ve been homeschooling a while, and you’re feeling confident in what you’re doing. Maybe you’re just getting started, and you’re still reading about homeschooling and researching your options. Either way, chances are you have benefited from homeschoolers who have gone before you. They have started homeschool organizations, lobbied to keep homeschooling free and legal, blogged thousands of the ever popular “day in the life of a homeschooler” posts, organized conferences, published homeschooling magazines, arranged park days, started geography clubs, shared curriculum ideas, and written homeschool help books. What have you given back to homeschooling lately? Read More »

When Your Child Goes from Homeschooling to Public School

When Your Child Goes from Homeschooling to Public School Sometimes things change, and your child will go from homeschooling to attending public school. What should you expect when you start the process? Here are a few first thoughts… Read More »

Ask Jeanne: “Does school decide what grade?”

Ask Jeanne: "Does school decide what grade?" We have moved and I would like him to attend our new home public school at the beginning of the second semester. If I began the school year doing 3rd grade work, would they accept him as a 3rd grade student at the second semester? Who decides what grade a child enters when they return back to public schools? Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling and Immunization Law

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling and Immunization Law I have a 4-year-old little girl. We have always wanted to homeschool her. The main reason for this decision is we don’t agree with vaccinations. My fiancé is older than I am. He grew up in the ’70s, so in his mind, this was going to be easy. Well, times have changed. I have been doing research, and it seems so much harder than I was thinking. I’m so overwhelmed with information that I don’t know where to start. My little girl is so smart, and she’s easy to teach, so we’ve got that down, but as far as the ... Read More »

Naming Your Homeschool

Naming Your Homeschool Does your homeschool have a name? Does it need one? What makes a good name for a homeschool? Whether you name your homeschool has to do with law, custom, and personal preference. You will want to consider benefits and disadvantages to naming your homeschool, as well as naming ideas, things to avoid, and how you can use a homeschool name to your (and your children’s) advantage. Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Can a 20-Year-Old Earn a Homeschool Diploma?

Ask Jeanne: Can a 20-Year-Old Earn a Homeschool Diploma? As a parent of a high school homeschooler, I was approached by a neighbor who asked if I knew what the age limit was to begin homeschool. Her 20-year-old son never finished school, sadly. It seemed almost impossible for him to get his GED, having been enrolled on and off since he was 16. Knowing the need for a diploma, she’s considering homeschool, believing with one-on-one teaching, he will obtain his diploma, and his future will much brighter. Unable to find information on the North Carolina Homeschool help website about age restrictions, I’m hoping you can help us. Read More »

What Is Accreditation? Should My Homeschool Be Accredited?

What Is Accreditation? Should My Homeschool Be Accredited? With the slow but steady growth of homeschooling across the United States comes a parallel growth in online, distance learning programs and schools. While many parents continue to provide independent, customized instruction to their children, others seek “enrolled homeschooling”—that which provides teacher-guided instruction, report cards/transcripts/credits, and other familiar elements of traditional education. Choosing a provider for this type of schooling naturally leads to an increase in questions about accreditation: what is it exactly, and how does it pertain to homeschooling? Read More »

TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Local resource listings are for information purposes only and do not imply endorsement. Always use due diligence when choosing resources, and please verify location and time with the organizer if applicable. Suggestions and advice on are for general information purposes only and should never be considered as specific to any individual situation, nor are they a diagnosis or treatment advice for any kind of medical, developmental, or psychological condition. Blog posts represent the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors or the publisher. Full terms of use and disclosure

Left Menu Icon